Indian Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Caramelized Tofu

I have been dreaming of faraway lands. Sometimes it helps to pick a country and go there, only if it’s just for dinner. This fragrant and warm recipe for  Roasted Indian Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Caramelized Tofu is seasoned with Madras Curry, named after the old city of Madras in Southern India, now known as Chennai. Madras Curry is a blend of spices and chillies, and like all curry, varies greatly from region to region.  In this dish, the cauliflower, is roasted until golden and crispy, and the chickpeas add a toothsome snap. The carmelized tofu rounds out the dish, making it a meal, while giving it lovely texture and a hint of sweetness. If you are leery about tofu, this would be a good one to try for its great texture and flavor. The aromatic earthy spices of Madras Curry take you far away.

Have this on its own as hearty vegan main dish, or over greens for a hearty salad.
Leftovers can be refrigerated and served chilled the next day over a bed of dressed greens.

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Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Salad with Caramelized Tofu
by sylvia fountaine, feasting at home March-9-2013
This Indian recipe can either be served warm as a hearty vegan main course, or chill and served over salad greens.
1 head cauliflower – cut into 1 inch bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
cracked pepper
2 C Cooked Warm Chickpeas
1 16 oz block tofu – cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
cracked pepper
2-3 3 T olive oil
pinch brown sugar
2-3 T madras curry spice
3 T olive oil
2 T rice wine vinegar
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1/4 C chopped scallion
1/4- 1/2tsp more salt to taste

Roast cauliflower:
Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces and toss with 2 T olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, cracked pepper. Roast in the oven on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes until golden and edges are crispy, stirring a couple times. 425F

Sear tofu:
Blot tofu with paper towels, pressing down to release moisture. Cut into bit sized cubes. Heat 2-3 T oil in a skillet with 1/2 tsp salt and cracked pepper, also in the skillet, on medium high heat. Give a quick stir and add tofu and let brown, turning occasionally until most sides are golden, about 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with a generous pinch brown sugar, and cook for one more minute. Set aside.

Strain cooked the chickpeas and place in a large bowl. Add the roasted cauliflower, caramelized tofu, olive oil, vinegar and the rest of the spices and herbs. Taste for salt and pepper. I usually add a little more kosher salt. Either place in a heat proof casserole dish, and place in a warm oven until ready to serve, or chill and served over dressed greens.

Madras Curry Spice Blend:
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons peppercorns
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp tablespoon ground cardamom
2 tsp tablespoon turmeric
1 tsp tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 – 1tsp cayenne (depending on how spicy you like)

In a dry skillet over very low heat, place the coriander, cumin, mustard and fennel seeds. Roast the seeds gently, shaking the pan occasionally, until they begin to pop. When about half the seeds have popped, add the cinnamon, peppercorns, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, ginger and cayenne.

Continue to heat and stir gently until the mixture is quite hot but not burnt. Pour into a dry blender or food processor, or use a mortar and pestle. Grind into a fine powder. Pour into a clean, dry jar, seal, and let it cool before using.

Cook time: 1 hour  Yield: 4- 6

thanks for sharing!
thanks for sharing!


  1. says

    Just discovered your blog. So far, I must say its quite lovely and your photos have me mouth watering till the last image. Can’t wait to start tasting. Starting with this one this weekend.

  2. Karen Murray says

    Sylvia, we tried this tonight and it is SO good! I’ll confess, I used a sweet curry powder from Penzey’s Spices as a shortcut, but we loved the combination of slightly crunchy cauliflower with the soft, sweet tofu. I’m thinking some chunks of roasted apple would be a delicious addition, too! Thank you for always inspiring me.


  3. says

    Yum this looks delicious. I’ve got a big cauliflower in the fridge and I now know exactly how I’m going to use it. Thanks for the recipe

  4. Anonymous says

    This is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I baked the tofu instead of frying it to avoid the extra calories (still added a pinch of brown sugar) and its still delish. The Madras Curry Spice Blend is perfect in the dressing…YUM

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